Speech FlipBook – A Review
By: Tactus Therapy
A newly released app that allows users to target individual sounds in various positions (i.e. CV, VC, CVC, CCVC, CVCC, etc). Uses range from articulation therapy to phonological awareness, motor speech disorders, and more. Speech FlipBook relies on the letters and corresponding sounds, rather than images, to target thousands of word combinations.
Tactus Therapy has put much effort into designing easy-to-read worksheets and step-by-step videos on how to use Speech FlipBook efficiently (see resources below for more info). I really couldn’t do a more thorough job than their site. The app is user-friendly once you are familiar with the set-up and tabs. The tabs are organized into initial and final isolated consonants, consonant clusters, and vowels; select only the sounds/words you prefer to target. The letters that appear on the flip chart correspond to the sound, rather than the spelling of the word; spelling of the word can appear at the bottom, if desired. There
Things I Like:
- Clean design: No in app purchases, no flashy pictures or crazy “buy me now” ads.
- So. Many. Uses: If I could find evidence to apply in every aspect of speech and language therapy for both children and adults, you better believe I would add it here.
- Phonetic and Motor planning focus: While there are many great articulation apps on the market, all of them include pictures. While I’m a fan of using pictures to increase vocabulary while also targeting articulation, sometimes a focus on just the sounds is necessary. THIS is the app for that.
- Recording: A client can listen to the sounds, touch the word, then record their own production for self-monitoring. As the SLP, I can facilitate the use of the app while my client can take control of their own speech 🙂
Wish List for Update:
- The ability to track data in a specific mode, in addition to the current ‘quick access’ that can be used for strictly practice.
- The ability to use both uppercase and lowercase letters on initial/medial positions at the same time. My kiddos with final consonant deletion could use an additional visual reminder to add final sounds or “the red page” sounds.
- A way to remember certain settings with assigned clients/profiles within the app.
Suggested Use #1: Phonological Awareness
The new Common Core Standards for English Language Arts begin in Kindergarten with the integration of phonological awareness skills. Children are expected to understand and express spoken words, syllables, and sounds; specifically, segment, blend, isolate, add, and substitute sounds, syllables, and words in a CVC context. Gillon (2005) compared and tracked the phonological awareness skills of children with speech impairments, ages 3:0 to 3:11, to typically developing, same-age children until they were 5 years of age. Results showed accelerated growth of the children with speech impairments compared to the control group; thus, training phoneme/sound awareness and letter knowledge was an effective intervention approach.
So how can Speech FlipBook help target these early phonological awareness skills? Children can touch the letters on the FlipBook pages which correspond to the appropriate sound. Learning how speech sounds relate to letters on a page has been shown to facilitate more accurate speech productions and self-monitoring (Gillon, 2005). While flashcards or a paper-based FlipBook have been all you think you might need, consider for a moment how much the child relies on an SLP or parent for feedback. Giving the child the opportunity to touch each letter, hear each sound at their own pace, and record their own utterance for comparison gives them much more independence and ownership during a therapy session (at least it has for my kiddos!).
Suggested Use #2: Speech Sound Disorders
I’ve become a fan of linguistically based approaches to speech sound disorders. Minimal Pair contrast therapy has become a particular favorite of mine (Weiner, 1981; Elbert & Gierut, 1986; Gierut, 1989,1990; Williams, 1991). Research has shown children with multiple sound production errors and phonological contrasts benefited from both minimal opposition contrasts (i.e. targets that differ by a single feature, such as place or manner) and maximal opposition contrasts (i.e. targets that differ by several features). Feel free to check out the Metaphon Therapy approach by Howell and Dean (1986) which has been found to help children who do not respond as well to a sound contrast approach.
With Speech FlipBook, creating a word list no longer requires searching Google or workbooks for a list of minimal or maximally contrasted words. Now, all you need to do is follow Tactus Therapy’s handy worksheet with step-by-step instructions on how to create minimal pairs. The option to “Flip by Sounds” or “Flip by Words” allows you to target different contexts, and all with just a few taps on each tab (see what I did there with the tap-tab?! ha). Where was this app back in my first year of graduate school (all 1 year ago) when I needed these kind of word lists in less than 5 minutes?! FINALLY.
Suggested Use #3: Graduate Student Phonetic Transcription Practice
When learning phonetics in undergrad, I used multiple resources, such as Dictionary.com’s IPA button for word practice and an IPA phonetic keyboard to transcribe. With Speech FlipBook, you can turn on the IPA setting for the pages; practice recognizing the actual words as you flip! The app’s tabs are organized by place and manner, which corresponds to the chart I know and trust. Are you struggling with learning phonetics as an SLP or CSD major? Check out this interesting article (2001) regarding phonological awareness skills and SLP graduate students (check out the appendix, specifically!).
- Tactus Therapy – How to YouTube Videos
- Tactus Therapy Worksheet – The Basics
- Alternate Phonological Therapy Approach – Metaphon
- Dean & Howell, 1986; Dean, Howell, Hill & Waters, 1990; Dean, Howell, Waters & Reid, 1995
- Phonological Awareness Skills of University Students: Implications for Teaching Phonetics – via CICSD
- Other app reviews by AppAble,Project SLP, Speech Time Fun, 2 Gals Talk…About Speech Therapy